Mediterranean Rice Salad

Mediterranean rice salad
The secret to this flavorful salad is mixing the raw spinach leaves with the hot rice – the steaming rice sort of blanches the spinach leaves. They become brighter and more tender and are able to retain their flavor and nutritional value. Cut up all veggies while the rice is cooking because you’ll need the spinach leaves to be ready immediately after the rice is done cooking.

1 cup long-grain rice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 cups fresh spinach leaves, chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/4 cup chopped Kalamata olives

Cook rice according to directions.

In a large bowl, whisk lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, salt, black pepper, and cayenne.

Add cooked rice to dressing and mix well. Add spinach, mix, and let stand for about 15-20 minutes, until rice has cooled a bit.

Add remaining ingredients and blend.

Vegan Sloppy Joes

vegan sloppy joe sandwichRemember the sloppy joes from your childhood? They were a great quick lunch my mom would make on weekends. Sue misses the flavor and fill-you-up yumminess of sloppy joes, but this textured soy protein (TSP) alternative has no fat or cholesterol. In this recipe, Sue used frozen, pre-chopped onion and green pepper to save time.

1-2 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
½ green bell pepper, diced
2 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. dry mustard
1¼ cup TSP
1½ cup vegetable broth or water
¼ cup ketchup
½ cup bottled BBQ sauce
1 Tbs. soy sauce
Dash of cayenne pepper
*Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan, sauté pepper and onion in oil until onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in chili powder, garlic, and mustard.

Add TSP, broth, ketchup, BBQ sauce, and soy sauce; stir well.

Cover and bring mixture to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes covered, stirring occasionally.

*You may not need to add salt after adding soy sauce – taste it first.

Serve hot on burger buns. Goes well with potato salad or coleslaw!

boulder slaw

boulder_slaw
What can we say about a beautiful, colorful, nutrient-filled dish that takes after its namesake (well, at least the beautiful, colorful parts)?  This salad starts with a coleslaw base, but you can add everything you like and can only make it better! It’s so flavorful, you don’t need any fancy spices.  When you see the bright colors and taste the sweet-sour dressing, you’ll be bowled over by Boulder Slaw!

Start with a coleslaw base:

shredded green and red cabbage and shredded carrots (you can use a prepared coleslaw pack, if you like)

Add:

Lots more shredded or matchstick-cut carrots
Broccoli florets, blanched 30 seconds and cut very small
Red and green bell peppers, diced
Red or sweet yellow onion, diced
½ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped fine

Also, you could try one or two of these ingredients:

Finely chopped apples
Dried cranberries or raisins
Pineapple pieces or crushed pineapple, drained
Finely chopped mushrooms

Dressing:

½ cup sugar
½ cup white vinegar
¼ cup water
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. salt
Dash of black pepper
Dash of red (cayenne) pepper
1 tsp. celery seed

quinoa & corn salad

quinoa_corn_salad
This summer salad features delightfully crunchy quinoa and sweet corn kernels in a tangy dressing. Never tried quinoa? It’s similar to millet; look for it in the bulk section of your local natural foods store. We used red quinoa for this recipe, but other colors are available.

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups corn kernels (canned, frozen, or fresh; if fresh, briefly cook kernels in boiling water, rinse with cold water, and drain)
1 medium cucumber, diced
8-oz. package cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
Several large romaine leaves, sliced into ribbons

Dressing
1/2 cup olive oil
Juice from 1 large, fresh lemon
3 Tbs. maple syrup
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. salt

1. Combine rinsed quinoa, salt, and 1 1/2 cups water in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat. Let quinoa simmer until all the water is absorbed (about 20 minutes). Remove from heat. After about 10 minutes, “fluff” the quinoa with a fork by lightly stirring.

2. In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa with the corn kernels, diced cucumbers, and tomatoes.

3. Whisk all the dressing ingredients together, and stir into the salad.

4. Arrange romaine ribbons on plates. Scoop quinoa salad on top.

classic potato salad

potato_salad
This is a vegan variation of my mother’s potato salad recipe, which was always very much in demand.

1 cup vegan mayonnaise (Spectrum makes a tasty one)
2 Tbs. white wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cane sugar
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup mild onion
5-6 medium Yukon Gold or red potatoes

Slice potatoes in half and place in a pot of boiling water. Boil until potatoes are tender but not mushy. Cool slightly; peel and slice into cubes.

In a large bowl, stir together the first five ingredients. Add celery, onions, and potatoes; stir gently to coat. Chill. Garnish with a sprinkle of paprika and a parsley sprig.

mediterranean pasta salad

2 cups tricolor fusilli or rotini pasta
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted
2 Tbs. Italian flat-leaf parsley
3 Tbs. fresh basil, chopped

Cook pasta; drain and cool. Combine with chopped vegetables and herbs. Toss with your favorite oil and vinegar dressing (we like Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette).

southwestern veggie salad

Southwestern Veggie Salad is a colorful side dish that’s perfect for a potluck or any occasion that calls for a quick recipe. You’ll make this salad again and again.

1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 medium Vidalia or red onion, finely diced
1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley or cilantro, chopped
1 15-oz. can corn, drained
1 15-oz. can black beans, drained
1 15-oz. can garbanzo beans, drained
1 cup picante sauce

Mix all ingredients together and chill. That’s it!

24-hour salad

This recipe can be served as a vegetable salad or as a pasta salad. It’s called 24-hour salad because the ingredients can be marinated in an oil-and-vinegar or Italian salad dressing for 24 hours. Or skip the marinade, toss all the ingredients with fresh-cooked pasta, and serve as a pasta salad. Either way, it’s delicious!

12 to 15 fresh mushrooms, halved
3-4 green onions, chopped
2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 green pepper, sliced thin
2 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 14-oz. can whole pitted black olives, drained
3/4 cup Italian salad dressing

As a vegetable salad: In a large, deep, glass bowl, layer the first seven ingredients in the order given. Add 1/2 tsp. salt to the dressing, pour over veggies, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. Toss and serve.

As a pasta salad: Boil 2 cups of your favorite pasta shapes until done. Drain and add to large bowl with all of the above ingredients. Mix and serve.

baked beans

Here’s a summer recipe that’s a perfect complement to grilled portobellos or veggie burgers. You can use canned beans to save time, or use dried navy beans to equal 3 cups cooked. If you use dried beans, save some of the cooking liquid to replace the liquid that evaporates during baking.

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1/4 cup molasses
1 Tbs. prepared mustard
2 Tbs. soy sauce
2 Tbs. rum
2 Tbs. brown sugar
2 14 1/2 oz.-cans navy beans, undrained

Sauté the onion in oil until transparent, about 5 minutes. Add all other ingredients except beans. Reduce heat and stir for another minute. Add beans (including liquid), mix well, and turn into casserole dish. Cover and bake at 350° for 1 hour.

monika’s sesame noodles

Take these tasty sesame noodles to your next office potluck or picnic and treat your friends to a taste of the Far East. They’re delicious and easy to make.

16 oz. udon noodles (use linguine if you can’t find udon)
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
2 Tbs. sesame seeds

1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain.

2. Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl. Pour over the cooked pasta; toss to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

tabbouli salad

Tabbouli, tabbuli, tabouleh: how many ways can you spell the name of this crunchy, nutritious salad? It’s a refreshing yet filling dish that’s especially good in the summer.

Tabbouli salad’s main ingredient is bulgur (cracked) wheat. To prepare bulgur wheat for the salad, measure 1 cup bulgur into a bowl, and then pour 1 cup warm water over it and let stand for 30 minutes. Yields 2 cups.

2 cups presoaked bulgur
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 cup green onions, chopped
2 cups fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/3 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
Salt to taste (try 1/4 tsp.)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
Fresh ground black pepper

1. Mix first seven ingredients together (bulgur through salt), and then add fresh lemon juice. Stir to combine.

2. Refrigerate ingredients for about an hour. When ready to serve, add olive oil and black pepper. Mix well.

Notes: Fresh ingredients are absolutely necessary for good tabbouli. A large lemon usually nets 1/4 cup of juice. A large bunch of fresh parsley can yield 1, 2, or 3 cups chopped; use as much as you want. Cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil is best for salads, and although mint leaves add a unique flavor, they can be omitted in a pinch (sometimes it’s hard to find fresh mint). Cooking is an art, not a science, so have fun and experiment!

mom’s sweet & sour pepper slaw

dressing:
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp. salt

slaw:
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 cup jalapeño pepper, minced
6 cups coleslaw

1. Place dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Stir with a whisk and set aside.

2. Combine slaw ingredients in a medium bowl. Pour dressing over slaw, tossing to coat.